18/07/2019 - 13:30

Big drop in WA’s unemployment

18/07/2019 - 13:30

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The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Western Australia has bucked the national trend and fallen 0.5 percentage points to 5.8 per cent on the back of a 13,800 increase in the total number of people holding a job.

WA was the only state or territory in Australia to report a lift in worker numbers in June.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Western Australia has bucked the national trend and fallen 0.5 percentage points to 5.8 per cent on the back of a 13,800 increase in the total number of people holding a job.

WA was the only state or territory in Australia to report a lift in worker numbers in June, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman said Australia clearly had a two-speed job market.

“Unemployment is low in NSW, Victoria and the ACT, but heading in the wrong direction elsewhere,” he said.

“That said, the pick-up in hiring in WA in June was notable.”

Nationally, Australia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held at 5.2 per cent in June, as an election-related jobs boost receded and the effect of cash rate cuts were yet to materialise.

Economists had expected the overall jobless rate to remain unchanged in the first read on the labour market since the Reserve Bank of Australia reduced the official cash rate for the first time in three years. 

Callam Pickering at job site Indeed said the figures, while again underwhelming, were unlikely to change the RBA's immediate outlook as it pushed towards a 4.5 per cent unemployment target.

"Employment growth is still quite strong on a trend basis but rising slack could weigh on wage growth and inflation," Mr Pickering said.

"Putting the pieces together, another rate cut appears more likely than not. November is the most likely month, aligning policy with an updated set of RBA forecasts."

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